What Causes a Pause in the Overwatch League?

Pauses are quite common in esports, but why exactly do they occur in the Overwatch League?
Pause in the Overwatch League, Overwatch League Pause Screen
Luke Croft

Luke Croft

Luke will run up the score on you in Madden and instalock D.Va 98% of the time. Proud purchaser of 3 Vitas.

During opening night of the Overwatch League’s second season, a few pauses interrupted the slate of wildly competitive games, throwing a wrench in the momentum and flow of the production. One particularly long pause came during the final match of the night between the Shanghai Dragons and the Hangzhou Spark. After the Dragons won a fight to take point A on Rialto, the game was abruptly paused and play stopped for nearly eight minutes, long enough for the casters to go through highlights of the previous maps, break down Youngjin’s performance on Reaper, and go to a commercial break. Pauses, while frustrating for players and viewers alike, are not uncommon in esports. But what causes the game to pause during an Overwatch League match?

When Can There Be a Pause in the Overwatch League

An in-game pause occurs when there is a technical disruption to the game, most commonly a hardware malfunction such as a mouse and keyboard issue or a monitor losing signal. A pause can also occur if a player is dropped from the server. While it is rarely known to the casters and audience exactly what caused a pause, the Overwatch League official rules summary outlines the reasons the game admin may pause the game mid-match. Section 5.14(b) of the rules states:

In the event of a bug, PC malfunction, server crash or other disturbances escalated
by the referees, the Game Admin will pause the game immediately until the issue
is resolved. In the event of a full Game crash, the Game will pause automatically.
Players will not be able to pause or unpause the Game themselves.

In online tournaments, such as Overwatch Contenders, the game automatically pauses when a player disconnects from the server. When the player reconnects, they are placed in their team’s spawn room and all ultimate charge they may have gained prior to the disconnection is lost.

Even with the pauses, night one of Overwatch League 2019 brought us four amazingly competitive matches. Wondering what to watch out for through the rest of the weekend? Check out our list of games you won’t want to miss!

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